Issue No. 6, Article 6/May 14, 2010
Update on Soybean Planting Progress
There seems little out of the ordinary to report regarding planting progress for soybeans. The Illinois NASS data showed that 33% of the state was planted on May 9 versus 11% the previous week, 0% the previous year, and 18% for the previous 5-year average. The pace of planting is not record-fast, but the state is on a nice pace compared to recent years: 33% planted by this date in 2004, 43% in 2005, 45% in 2000, and 50% in 2001. There was a cool front last weekend, with some frost in the northern areas of the state, but I don't think many soybeans were out of the ground, and I have not heard of any damaged seedlings. Soil temperatures have likely cooled, though, so fields should be watched for irregular emergence and/or damping off, as some soils will likely stay moist to wet for several days to come in many areas.
Many acres of soybean continued to be planted on Monday ahead of rains that swept across the state. For many of the fields planted near these rains, look for potential crusting if you were in areas of hard rainfall, and particularly in tilled fields that had finely prepared seedbeds. The other thing to keep in mind is the potential restrictions on any herbicide applications in relation to soybean planting. If you planted soybean ahead of these rains without applying preemergence herbicides and you intend to still apply burndown or preemergence herbicides, make sure you know the exact stage of development for the germinating seeds and/or emerging seedlings when you return to the field to spray. In addition, make sure the herbicide label allows the application. Some herbicides have a restriction of plus or minus three days of planting, or other restrictions, and these restrictions should obeyed to prevent damage. Some of the earliest-planted soybeans should be emerged to just emerging in many fields. In these fields, scouting for emergence problems and early-season pests should be a priority before other fields become dry enough to allow planting again.--Vince M. Davis